Call for Papers: 500 Years Later: Reverberations of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Call for Papers:

There is little doubt that from its origins in the 16th century through its end in the 19th century the transatlantic slave trade dramatically shaped the trajectories of many millions of lives on at least four continents (Africa, Europe, North America, and South America, and the Caribbean). Whether, in what forms, by what means, and to what effect the slave trade continues to leave social, cultural, institutional, familial and personal impressions in the present day are matters of considerable debate and even tension – in the former slave-trading and slave-hosting nations, in West and Central Africa, but also in countries whose involvement was less obvious. 

Topics of inquiry can include but are not limited to:

  • In what ways do the effects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade continue to ripple through the lives of particular people, institutions, communities, and societies? With what impact? How do we know? 
  • What narratives prevail about the linkages between the slave trade and its historical impacts, on one hand, and contemporary racial meanings and conditions, on the other?
  • How pronounced are calls for racial “healing” and reconciliation? What are their sources? What efforts have been tried and with what success? Failures?
  • Do reparations movements do more good or more harm – under what circumstances and in what respects? What are the potential dangers and pitfalls of demands for reparations for the descendants of slaves? What would a truly beneficial approach to reparations look like?
  • How has the slave trade shaped contemporary notions of “whiteness” and “blackness,” whether locally or globally? What effect does it continue to exert on other identities? What reparative work is needed, if any, to fashion more constructive concepts of racial identity and meaning?  Or are we at a point in time where notions of race no longer serve a beneficial effect; and, if so, what, if anything would “replace race”
  • What current efforts seek to link the descendants of former slaves, slave traders, and slave holders? What are their aims, mechanisms, and outcomes?
  • What current efforts seek to link former countries and regions that participated most actively in the slave trade? What are their aims, mechanisms, and outcomes?

Papers must be received by July 6, 2011 to be considered for publication in this issue.

Contact Information:

Leslie Shortlidge
Managing Editor


Comments are closed.